A new initiative, launched in tandem by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) and the Railway Police Division, sets out to prevent crimes on trains and to restore public confidence in rail travel. The move comes in the wake of the tragic rape and murder of a 13-year-old passenger by a train employee on a service between Surat Thani and Bangkok.
The project, dubbed "Police in Train", will see 10 teams, each with two commando policemen, dispatched to provide security on trains, aid passengers and crack down on the possession of illegal items, said the chief of CSD's Special Operation Subdivision, Pol Lt-Colonel Torsak Sukwimon.
The initiative will be launched on a northern route such as the Bangkok-to-Chiang Mai special express train, which is overnight and long-distance with few stops and therefore more prone to crime than regular rail services.
If the operation receives positive feedback it may be expanded to other routes.
Passenger Chompassorn Cheunpakdi said that although the recent rape-murder case shook her, she still needed to use the train and believed it was a form of transport that was safer than other means. She said an increased police presence on the trains would make her feel ever safer, and she supported the launch of the new initiative.